الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Activists shot dead in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi activists run past burning material on a road close to the home of opposition leader Khaleda Zia in Dhaka on January 5, 2015.The authorities have banned demonstrations on the election anniversary

Two opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party activists have been shot dead during clashes with supporters of the ruling Awami League, police say.

The shootings in the northern town of Natore came on the first anniversary of disputed general elections.

Both parties have called for rallies despite a ban on demonstrations.

Security forces are preventing BNP leader Khaleda Zia from leaving her party offices in the capital Dhaka. Police say they want to stop violence.

A number of people have been injured in clashes in the capital and about half a dozen other towns, reports say.

The BNP and other opposition parties boycotted last year’s election, saying it would be rigged.

They were angry that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been in power since 2009, refused to stand aside to make way for a neutral caretaker administration.

Dozens of BNP workers have disappeared since last year’s election, with human rights groups blaming the government – although it denies this.

An adviser to the prime minister insisted on Sunday that Mrs Zia had not been locked up but had been given “enhanced security protection”.

Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina have a long rivalry which has dominated Bangladesh politics for years.

BNP leader Khaleda Zia (left) and Awami League leader Sheikh HasinaBNP leader Khaleda Zia, left, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are bitter rivals

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